Beto O’Rourke Immigration Plan: No Walls; Amnesty for Dreamers, Parents, ‘Millions More’

EL PASO, TEXAS - NOVEMBER 06: U.S. Senate candidate Rep. Beto O'Rourke (D-TX) concedes the race while addressing a 'thank you' party on Election Day at Southwest University Park November 06, 2018 in El Paso, Texas. O'Rourke lost to incumbent Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX). (Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)
Chip Somodevilla/Getty

Former Rep. Beto O’Rourke (D-TX) isn’t yet a candidate for the Democrat presidential election, but he is already making clear his stance on immigration — open borders and amnesty for all of the people in the country illegally.

Media outlets, including the Houston Chronicle, are reporting O’Rourke has released a “10-point plan.”

The Chronicle reported:

After three terms in Congress and an unsuccessful bid for the U.S. Senate, El Paso Democrat Beto O’Rourke has made clear his view that immigrants should be welcomed as “human beings” and that “walls end lives.”

Now, signaling that he may soon announce a 2020 White House run, O’Rourke is putting a finer point on his immigration agenda, releasing a 10-point plan that calls for citizenship for both “Dreamers” and their parents, as well as for “millions more” who now live in the U.S. illegally.

And not only is O’Rourke against building more walls along the U.S. border with Mexico but he has expressed support for tearing down existing barriers that divide El Paso from Mexico.

“Yes, absolutely. I’d take the wall down,” O’Rourke said in an MSNBC interview.

One politico scientist with the University of Houston quoted in the Chronicle report said this position puts O’Rourke on the left side of the ever-growing Democrat presidential field.

“That is fairly to the left of where most of the people in the Democratic field are,” Brandon Rottinghaus said.

The Chronicle noted that tearing down walls was not on the immigration policy list, “an omission that is likely to raise new questions about his border policy positions.”

One strange point in O’Rourke’s immigration plan is the argument that a wall would make it harder for people here illegally to return home.

“Here’s why,” O’Rourke wrote, “as we made it harder for people to cross into the United States, we made it less likely that once here they would attempt to go back to their home country. Fearing an increasingly militarized border, circular patterns of migration became linear.”

His amnesty proposal is sweeping and includes all of the Dreamers, their parents — whom he calls “the original Dreamers” — and would bring “millions more out of the shadows and on a path to citizenship by ensuring that they register with the government to gain status to legally work, pay taxes and contribute even more to our country’s success.”

Republicans may be cheering O’Rourke’s radical stance on immigration.

“He is now showing, even more, how out of touch he is and how little he cares for American citizens and those who have followed the law to seek to become citizens,” Texas Republican Party Chairman James Dickey said. “Creating a whole new class of citizens whose status is a direct reward for breaking the law is just his latest dangerous extremist position.”

“O’Rourke’s new policy paper does not call for abolishing ICE, but it does call for, an ‘end to the global war on drugs’ which he says has accelerated the erosion of civil society in Latin America and helped produce the resulting flow of immigrants and refugees,” the Chronicle reported.

During his unsuccessful race to replace Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX),  O’Rourke’s Senate campaign website  spelled out some of his immigration priorities:

• End the militarization of our immigration enforcement system and close private immigration prisons and detention centers that profit from locking up families.

• Pass the DREAM Act and ensure that undocumented immigrants who were brought here as children, known as ‘Dreamers’, find a permanent home and citizenship in the U.S.

• Ensure that those who come to our borders seeking refuge from violence and persecution are given a fair opportunity to present their claims and guaranteed due process under our laws.

• Improve the immigration system to encourage and facilitate family reunification, education, and the investment of talent in our country.

• Modernize the visa system to allow U.S. employers to find workers for jobs that American workers can’t fill.

• Reform our immigration laws to legalize the status of millions of immigrants already in our country and ensure a fair path to citizenship for those inspired by the opportunity and ideals that we present to the rest of the world.

O’Rourke recently met with Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) about a different kind of campaign in which he would toss his hat in the ring to unseat Sen. John Cornyn (R-TX).

Nothing in O’Rourke’s plan that was reported in the media addressed curtailing drug and human trafficking at the border.

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